News Details

Back button

VITEMA Conducts Live Test of EAS Capabilities as Part of Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill

October 18, 2019

U.S. Virgin Islands – According to the Great website, on October 17 over 13,710 U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) residents joined the nation and participated in the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill hosted by the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) territory wide. The exercise consisted of a Live Test of the territory’s Emergency Alert System (EAS) and the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA).

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) server, WEA and EAS tests were successful. All major cellular carriers in the territory received and broadcasted the WEA. Additionally, the EAS delivery report showed a status code “EAS 500” which means the alert to EAS was a success.

P&P Employee Rehearsing Drop-Cover-Hold During Great ShakeOut

The Live Test of the EAS and WEA in combination with Alert VI capabilities confirmed that VITEMA will be able to deliver mass emergency notifications to USVI residents and visitors via mobile devices, landline, TTY devices, radio, television, email and social media outlets within a matter of seconds.

The Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill provided USVI residents an opportunity to practice immediate protection techniques to safeguard themselves, and to become better prepared in any scenario. Practicing what to do in an emergency before one happens can develop confidence in one’s ability to handle an emergency and can help reduce stress at the time too.

Dept of Property & Procurement Employees at evacuation point and engaged in evacuation discussions

“Small earthquakes occur in and around the territory often, although we may not feel them. Unlike hurricanes, these natural events come with little to no warning and can cause major devastation,” said VITEMA Director Daryl D. Jaschen. “Residents must continue partner with the USVI Government to develop a culture of preparedness in the territory. Creating a comprehensive, all-hazards emergency plan is the first step, followed by regular earthquake drills to asses plans is the best approach we can take to instill in the minds of our residents the correct procedures to be followed during the actual occurrence.”

Residents are encouraged to visit this website to participate in a quick survey on the Live Test of the EAS and WEA. The survey will be available until midnight on October 31 and will provide VITEMA with additional data on the Live EAS and WEA Test.

VITEMA St Croix and viNGN employees at the evacuation point

VITEMA wishes to thank all participants of the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill. To sign up for emergency, weather related, public safety and service disruption alerts in the USVI, sign up for Alert VI today.

Ricardo Richards Students Practice Drop-Cover-Hold